Series Principals

Eve A. Ma: Producer-Director, Narrator & Editor

Director's Statement: Music, including rhythm, is something I love. I have also found that the music of each community usually carries with it elements of the community's values and history. Since it is important for us to understand others on their own terms, I'm using an investigation of several of the world's rhythms and percussion instruments to lead us on this journey of understanding.

Let me add that I am also captivated by the talent and charisma of the several stars of these documentaries: Rasaki Aladokun, Peta Robles, Lalo Izquierdo (who unfortunately died in 2022), and the many others I have yet to film. Because he was such a great person and because of his many talents, I dedicate this series to Lalo Izquierdo.

Director's Bio: A filmmaker since 2004, like many other independent filmmakers, Ma is essentially self-taught. Her work has screened and been in festivals in eight countries on four continents. She produces and directs in both English and Spanish, and in certain respects considers herself an international version of Les Blank. Her passions are music, dance, and cross-cultural understanding; and she tries to combine each of these elements in her work, whether documentary, narrative, or experimental. Her earlier careers (history professor, lawyer, and non-profit administrator) also have a significant effect on her filmmaking.

Rasaki Adadokun

Rasaki Aladokun, from Ikirun, Nigeria, is from a traditional Yorubá drumming family. He played with his father's group until joining the band of King Sunny Adé, known as the "King of Juju Music." After touring with world with King Sunny Adé, he settled down in Oakland, California, USA with his wife and children.

A man with an infectious laught, Rasaki Aladokun is a skillful player of many percussion instruments. He brought several drums and other instruments with him which he demonstrates in this documentary. He also shows how drums, and drumming, are an integral part of social life for the Yorubá, an essential part of their traditional religion, and are also used purely for entertainment.

Peta Robles

Peta Robles, star of the Afro-Peruvian episode, is a prize-winning cajonera from Lima. She comes from a family of percussionists, not the least of whom is her uncle, the recently-deceased Lalo Izquierdo, who represented Peru in the Olympic Games in Mexico City; and her sister Kata Robles Izquierdo, who frequently performed in the Smithsonian Folkways productions in Washington, D.C..

Peta herself moved from her native Peru to California in the 1990s where she teaches and performs, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area. ...



Lalo Izquierdo

The recently deceased (2022) Lalo Izquierdo is an expert informant in the Afro-Peruvian episode. He was a dancer, choreographer, percussionist and folklorist of his Afro-Peruvian community. He taught workshops in many countries of South America and Europe, as well as In the United States, and represented his native Peru in the Olympic Games held In Mexico City.

In the last decade of his life, Izquierdo founded and ran a cultural organization in San Luis de Cañete in Perú where he taught the youth and helped keep alive his community’s traditions.

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